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Experienced (11/14)

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  1. Emerging from years of lurking to say hi to the nifty TPR folks I ran into today. (I was the guy in the TC t-shirt.) On the basis of half a dozen rides, what everyone else said. Pure fun, great ejector air in the back, splendid inversions, not-good ride operations, kinda totally wonderful coaster. Among the four RMCs I've been on, tied for favorite with Iron Rattler. The lapbars are pretty unforgiving, though, and there were lots of walks of shame. The test seat isn't very prominently placed, but larger people should seek it out before hopping in the queue. Hope for those of you going tomorrow that they get the green train back on track. And now back to years more of lurking.
  2. Not a big one, except in the front row, but all other things being equal, floorless. That's "all other things being equal."
  3. Well, adding fuel to your theory is the fact that the other ride at Knott's for which glasses - even tightly strapped ones - have to be removed is...XCelerator. Last week, when I groused to the XCelerator op - who'd clearly heard it all before - he told me that it was due to a rule in Intamin's manual, not a KBR policy. He said that CF was trying to get Intamin to drop the requirement, but no response so far. On the other hand, if TTD is now requiring glasses to be removed, then that makes things less hopeful for those of us near-sighted folks who'd rather not have crap flying into our eyes at 120 mph.
  4. Having just ridden Terminator a dozen times last week, I'd say that one element most woodies are NOT missing is a long, involved preshow. Mist tunnels at night, on the other hand, rock...
  5. Robb...the reason I've taken breaks from TPR in the past is because I felt I was being personally attacked for no reason. But hey, I figured maybe I was being oversensitive. But every time I come back... Well, since we're going there...I originally posted that, IMO, cruising is not the best way to explore what foreign cultures have to offer. I in no way made it personal. I in no way insulted other peoples' experiences or opinions. Not at all. You then, rather than simply debating the substance of my post, got all ad hominem and went after me personally. You said: 1) that I, having only spent 61 days cruising, was not "experienced" enough to give advice. (Which leads me to idly wonder how many days you've spent onboard.) 2) Either I wasn't "doing very good cruises" (I've sailed Holland America, Princess, and Celebrity, generally recognized as the best of the subluxury lines) or else was totally clueless about how to cruise. And 3) told people to listen to your wife, not to me. And subsequently, while saying you wouldn't respond, made it clear that I was unwelcome around here. But none of this is "combative," of course, because....um...well... I have no idea what your problem with me is, really. While I respect your accomplishment in running TPR, I do find the cliquishness and the "respect my authori-tay" routine somewhat wearing. Maybe that's it?
  6. Hey. Just checking in following my trip. Went to the Haunt on Thursday. The Knott's Boo-fet, despite being on the pricey side, was pretty much worth it. Food was mostly quite good, service friendly, and despite the 5:00 seating being let in 20 minutes late, we had time to gorge, ride Ghostrider, and get to a few mazes before the masses hit. Maybe because it was a Thursday night, but the park seemed relatively uncrowded. We had time to hit all the mazes, a few favorites a second time, and ride XCelerator and Supreme Scream. HHN on Friday was a somewhat different story. We arrived at 5:30, headed for Rob Zombie - where we were among the first 10 people there - then over to Friday the 13th, another walk-on. As per advice, headed down the hill, hit the Saw maze twice with 5 minute waits. Things kinda bogged down then, as we decided to ride the Mummy (I'd forgotten just how inferior it is to the Orlando version) and saw Kong 3-D twice. By that time, waits in the Upper Lot had grown. Had we headed up right after Saw, things would have gone easier. Still, the worst we endured was a 40-minute wait for the tram and about the same for Nightmare, and were able to squeeze in Bill and Ted, a ride on the Simpsons, and still wander around the scare zones. So even without the front-of-line pass, and with our spending extra time in the Lower Lot, we did everything we wanted to do with waits that averaged maybe 10-15 minutes. Thanks again for the advice.
  7. Well, I never said I was a "very experienced" cruiser, having only spent a couple of months aboard cruise ships. (I'm not sure, though, how many sea days I need before I'm qualified to have an opinion. Will my two-weeker through the Canal put me over the top, or do I have to, like my pals D. and J., have to be on 60+ cruises before I get to join the conversation?) What I said was that I was a "confirmed cruiser," meaning I was an enthusiast, and not at all a snob about traveling that way. The poster I responded to asked about getting to know what other countries have to offer, and I stand by my opinion that cruising is not the best way of doing that. (Bona fides are stupid, but I will say I'm a fairly experienced independent traveler: 8 months in Europe, 3 months in India, 1 mo. in Sri Lanka, 1 mo. in Burma, 2 mos. Middle East, 3 mos. Mexico, 2 mos. Central America, 1 mo. Peru, 1 mo. Ecuador, etc...so am I maybe qualified to speak about travel, please?) Most of what port excursions offer is sightseeing, pure and simple. I don't think there's anything wrong with sightseeing: I do it all the time. I quite enjoy it. But - not to get all Lonely-Planeter-than-thou about it - it's highly mediated, usually superficial and cliched (Local example here: "Welcome to San Francisco! There's the Golden Gate Bridge, and here's Fisherman's Wharf!"), and involves a minimum of interchange with locals who aren't being paid to serve you. Time-wise and organizationally, it allows for a minimum of the happy accidents and uncertain moments that kinda separate "travel" from "tourism." Sure, a cruise is a great, economical way to set foot in the Coliseum or spend a hurried couple of hours at Machu Picchu. But face it, that's the EPCOT way of travel, the-world-as-theme-park (though since I haven't been to as many parks as you, maybe I shouldn't feel qualified to say that, either). Local again: a visit to Pier 39 may be fun (and a great way to buy fridge magnets), but is minimally connected to the soul of San Francisco. And sure, the box-of-chocolates sampler that cruising provides can be helpful: a port day wandering around Old San Juan made me want to spend more time in Puerto Rico, while one visit to Cabo was really enough for me. I once spent nearly a week in Cozumel, staying at a diver's hotel, diving, hanging out, and watching the hordes of cruisers being disgorged and then sailing away. It really, really gave me a better feel for the island than my recent port day there, which mostly consisted of being picked up at the dock, doing a two-tank dive, and strolling through town on my way back to the dock. Cruising is, yes, wonderful, and a great way to do limited sightseeing. But anyone who, for example, thinks that spending an afternoon on Royal Carib's fenced-off private beach at Labadee, being served umbrella drinks and getting their hair braided, is in any real sense "seeing" Haiti is just being, um, silly. Oh, and I actually would take advice from someone who's only been to half-dozen theme parks (assuming they've been to park I'm interested in) or spent just a couple of months cruising, or even one month. But that's just me. I obviously have no standards.
  8. If that's your main interest - and I speak as a confirmed cruiser preparing to go on his 7th cruise - I'd suggest you choose another means of transport, like flying to somewhere and staying for a while or buying a Eurailpass. If you're in port for 8 hours, how much, really, of another country are you going to experience? Or even a city? Cruising, really, is recreation, not exploration. As to where to go...well, what are you interested in? Scuba diving? Museums? Scenery? Buying jewelry at Diamonds International? (Cruiser joke.)
  9. That would be the optimum place for it, since the hilltop location would add a pop of elevation. Hey, is that height limit above ground level or lake level. I wonder?
  10. Well, bought the Boo-fet tickets this morning. Thanks for the encouragement! I've already bought the HHN tickets, and not sure if/how I can upgrade to front-of-line. So for now I plan on getting there hellishly early and keeping my fingers crossed.
  11. Thanks, but it turns out that the Goldstar dates aren't for my planned visit, and Goldstar's per ticket service charge is a killer: you're really better off ordering directly through the Knott's site, especially with an additional buck per ticket off for Joe Cool. (And I got an additional 5% back through Discover Card last month.) And I already have a SFDK season pass, so that's taken care of...though I'm bummed about Deja Vu being down.
  12. So does anyone who's been to this year's Knott's Haunt and/or USH HHN have any words of wisdom to share? Things not to miss, to skip, itineraries for most efficient use of time (w/o FOL passes)? I'll be heading down there later this week, and figured I'd ask. Thanks!
  13. OK, I'm up in NoCal with no access to Burger King's Knott's Haunt coupons. Anyone have access to one and can tell me the admission charge on 10/13 and 10/14? Just trying to decide whether to buy tix online now or wait. Thanks!
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